If you are an EU citizen I want you to stop reading this and go check if your EHIC is in date! (used to be called E111) For those of you not familiar with the scheme, the European Health Insurance Card allows for free (or reduced) healthcare in another EU country. The card is free and there’s no application charge.
And what has brought this on you ask?
Two weeks ago today, we went to Malaga as a group of 8 for a family celebration weekend. Of the 8 of us, 3 had no EHIC and another had a lapsed card. On the Sunday, hubby Tom was admitted to Malaga General Hospital with an unknown infection. Once he produced his card, there was no more question about payment… that was it. He had ECG’s and xrays, countless blood tests, antibiotics and other meds. He received fantastic medical and nursing care throughout his stay.
He remained in hospital for 10 days. After allowing a few days to recuperate and find his legs, we arrived home early this morning!
I could blog at length about his stay in hospital – about the medical staff who always arrived with an English speaker, about the nursing and auxiliary staff who were always so kind, about the familiar faces of patients and visitors you get to know on a hospital floor as every day becomes groundhog day, about the endless mini packets of Marietta biscuits that came with tea and stacked up on his locker…..
I could blog at length about luck… lucky that my brother was with us for a few days and could speak Spanish when it mattered most – I’ll never slag you about it again Des! Lucky that Tom’s brother and sister in law were staying close by at the time and took me under their wing – Barry and Teresa, I will never forget opening that bag and finding a change of nightwear and my meagre weekend wardrobe freshly laundered. Lucky that we’d a wonderful son with us in Malaga, who sorted everything in Dublin for the following 10 days once he came home – Ste it was great to have you at the end of the phone. Lucky that we had family and friends patiently awaiting updates and sending good wishes whenever I returned to WiFiLand!
The count down clock on my homepage tells me I’m going to Morocco in 6 hours. Doesn’t matter – there’ll be other trips. For now, we’re both glad to be home and well.
And you? Check that EHIC!!!!
24 thoughts on “Is your EHIC up to date??”
I can support that. I had an accident in Cyprus but thanks to my EHIC card it was all plain sailing. Don’t travel wthout it, although what happens after Brexit to the Brits I’m not sure.
Wow! I don’t reside in Europe… but this is interest to know. Hope your hubby is much better now.
Thank you so much – he’s on the mend and glad to be home. He was talking earlier today about future trips so thankfully the experience hasn’t turned him against travel!!
Its really a great scheme – couldn’t believe how easy it made everything.
I just renewed mine … even though, if Blustering Boris gets his way, it’ll cease to be valid next week ….
Ah they’ll have to come up with some arrangement – meanwhile, looks like you’ll get another while out of it ….
I don’t have any immediate plans to visit another EU country in the near future …. but Cambodia and Vietnam (which, last I heard, weren’t in the EU) next month.
Lucky you – that will be a great trip. Haven’t been to Vietnam yet but love to get there some day.
Marie, great blog on the vagaries of travel and the need foe the E111 ” in old money”. The Spanish medical system is second to none and rightly deserves all the praise it gets. As I said before it was stolen time and wonderful to be able to help.
Think it’ll always be the E111 to us oldies Bar!!! I’ve nothing but praise for the service and treatment – you witnessed it at first hand. Thanks again for everything -you kept me sane. XXXX
Spread the word folks… check out your EHIC! ( or E111 )
It was just so unlucky that your family celebration was disrupted and yet great that if something was was to happen when you are away from home that you had family around for support. Great to hear you are both safely home and Tom is on the mend. As for the E111 we’ve benefitted from it twice in the last few years. It’s well worth the minimal effort in getting one and keeping it up to date.
Thanks Paula – its funny how many things fell into place …. not least that if you have to get stuck somewhere, could do a lot worse than Malaga! Was lucky as you say that there were so many around for support …. if it happened this Sunday, we’d be on our own in southern Morocco….
E111 is much easier to remember isn’t it! Ah… the good old days…..
Omg Marie, I’m so glad everything worked out! All the best to hubby. Thank you for the reminder, we have ours with us and… they are out of date! … we’ll be home this week and I’ve put it on my to do list. Thank you again, you are great to think of others at a time like this xxx
Ah … my work is done! Thanks for your support Mairead and safe home. I’ve enjoyed reading about your trip…
Sorry to hear of your disrupted travel plans – so glad all is well now though. Of course coming from Australia we always take out travel insurance!
Thank you – the patient is doing well. The EHIC just covers medical expenses at the time so isn’t enough in itself of course. Now facing the joys of dealing with the insurance company re changed flights, extra hotel stay, etc …. but to be fair, they usually respond fairly quickly.
Yes I knew what you meant – chocolate box picture perfect!! The Belgian chocolate was of course excellent as well! 🙂
Glad to hear it all worked out and that your husband is feeling better. Given that he was in the hospital for 10 days sounds like the infection was pretty serious. It’s good that his EHIC was up to date so that was one less thing you had to worry about.
Thank you so much … he’s doing ok. Yes it was great to have the card … I know our holiday insurance would have eventually covered it but once we had the card, there was no paperwork or anything like that. As you say, one less thing to worry about..
Hi Marie, so sorry to hear about your bad news and glad to here you are both home safe & sound, that’s all that matters at the end of the day. Morocco will be waiting for you 😀
Ah thank you – sometimes there’s just no place like home!!
If you are sntaying in the desert in a ‘Berber’ tent be warned that ‘luxury’ level means that you have a toilet in your tent instead of having to get up in the middle of the night to go outside to the shared toilet shed. Our travel agent did not tell us this. You might want to arrange for an upgrade?